ELKTON — A former Elkton High School physical education teacher is facing up to three years in prison and a $5,000 fine, after accepting a plea deal in a criminal case in which he stood accused of deliberately killing a puppy that belonged to his then-girlfriend.
The defendant, Todd Anthony Corron, 36, of the 300 block of Harrisville Road in Colora, pleaded guilty to felony aggravated animal cruelty Monday, the day his Cecil County Circuit Court jury trial was scheduled to start.
Cecil County Circuit Court Administrative Judge Keith A. Baynes accepted Corron’s guilty plea and then set sentencing for Feb. 11.
On July 13, Cecil County Animal Services officer Daniel Puhalski filed the aggravated animal cruelty charge against Corron, after investigating allegations that Corron had kicked and strangled his ex-girlfriend’s puppy to death June 16 at the couple’s shared Colora residence, according to court records.
“After interview of the defendant (Corron), I learned that the defendant had indeed kicked the dog, but claimed it was a ‘freak accident.’ The defendant did not admit to strangling said dog,” Puhalski outlined in his statement of probable cause.
After Corron’s guilty plea Monday, Kelly Keeton, a Cecil County Public Schools spokeswoman, told the Cecil Whig, “I can confirm that he (Corron) no longer is employed by Cecil County Public Schools.” Keeton, however, said she was not at liberty to say when and how Corron’s employment with CCPS ended, explaining that such details are considered personnel information, which is private.
Court records indicate that, as of Dec. 17, Corron still was employed as a CCPS teacher, although he had been assigned to administrative duty outside of the schools.
On Monday morning, after Corron pleaded guilty to the sole charge against him, Baynes revoked his bond. Corron is serving a 60-day sentence in the Cecil County Detention Center in an unrelated criminal case. The bond revocation means that, should Corron be released in his unrelated case, he would remain incarcerated until his sentencing for his aggravated animal cruelty conviction.
In the unrelated criminal case, after a half-day trial and 30 minutes of deliberation, a jury found Corron guilty of second-degree assault Dec. 17 in connection with him kicking a Cecil County Sheriff’s Office deputy in the shoulder while Corron was in custody Feb. 9, 2018, on drunken-driving charges.
Moments later, Cecil County Circuit Court Judge William W. Davis Jr. imposed a three-year sentence on Corron and then suspended all but 60 days of it. The judge allowed Corron to remain free until Jan. 7, when he reported to the county jail and started serving his 60-day sentence. Davis also ordered Corron to serve 18 months of supervised probation after completing his 60-day term, listing alcohol counseling and treatment as one of the conditions.
As for the drunken-driving case relating to that second-degree assault, Corron pleaded guilty to driving while under the influence of alcohol and Cecil County District Court Judge Clara Campbell, in turn, imposed a suspended 30-day sentence on Corron and placed him on 12 months of unsupervised probation in that traffic case.
It marked Corron’s third drunken-driving conviction in 10 years, although, in one of those cases, he received probation before judgment, court records show.
Campbell imposed her drunken-driving sentence on Corron on July 9 — four days before the CCAS officer filed the aggravated animal cruelty charge against him.
At the time of his Dec. 17 assault trial, Corron still was employed by Cecil County Public Schools and was on administrative duty outside of schools, according to court records. During his testimony in that trial, Corron told jurors he had been a teacher for 14 years.